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The beach of Aitutaki

Captain James Cook discovered a chain of islands just northwest of New Zealand and named them, aptly, the Cook Islands.  The most beautiful of all of these islands is definitely Aitutaki, which, ironically, was not discovered by Cook, but by William Bligh in 1789, just a few days before the now famous mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty. 

This tiny island is perfect for a nice quiet vacation.  Aitutaki is the home to absolutely beautiful beaches, a 30-mile reef, and a large tropical jungle area.  This makes the island perfect for snorkeling and diving in the pristine waters, lying on the sand of pristine beaches, or hiking through beautiful jungle. 

The best times to travel to this island are from November to February.  This pristine paradise is a wonderful getaway for those looking to escape the fast-paced lifestyle of the modern day.

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Kauai, Hawaii is the greenest and oldest island in the Hawaiian archipelago.  Its primordial beauty has become immortalized in films like King Kong and Jurassic Park.  Despite all of the hype, the island only holds five percent of the state’s total population.  Perhaps that is because this island focuses on natural beauty instead of the overly plush Maui-life-style.

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  The Na Pali Cliffs

The island is about 30 miles at its widest point and even though you can drive in a circle around the island, the center of the rock is lush, deep, impenetrable rainforest.  The 3000 foot high Na Pali Cliffs are amongst the most beautiful on earth.  To get a close up look at the cliffs you can do one of three things: 1.) climb them 2.) hike the strenuous Kalalau Trail 3.) or kayak to the foot of the crags. 

Kauai does have some of the most pristine beaches of Hawai.  The most popular one is Waimea beach, which is the place British captain James Cook landed in Hawaii in 1778.  Closeby is the 14-mile-long, 2-mile-wide, and 3000-foot-deep gorge Waimea Gorge. 

At the center of the island lies Mount Waialeale, a 5,148 (and growing) foot volcano.  There is so much rain here, spectacular rainbow vistas are almost constant.  The volcanic ash is also good fertilizer after many years so the entire island is wonderfully covered with dense rainforest vegetation.

There are many hotels on the island.  You can go extravagant ($405 dollars a night at the Princeville Resort) or quaint and interesting (but still not cheap($395 Waimea Plantation Cottages).  The best times to go are…dude, it’s Hawaii…it is always a good time to visit.  However, the the Aloha and Kauai Mokihana Festivals are featured during mid-September.

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